November 16, 2011

Seattle Police Mace 84 year-old woman; Pregnant Teen

Today Occupy Seattle held a solidarity march for Occupy Wall Street-- which was evicted yesterday in a suprise raid by the NYPD. Now there are reports of police brutality coming from the raid on Occupy Wall Street, but I actually want to focus on this Solidarity March that happened in Seattle.

Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said he didn't have specifics on this incident, but he said pepper spray is "is not age specific. No more dangerous to someone who is 10 or someone who is 80."

Oh good, so the Seattle Police Department feels equally okay pepper spraying both our children and our grandparents with a chemical weapon. That makes me feel really safe and secure. Thanks Officer Friendly for your kindly neighborhood watch.

I guess the Seattle Police feel that Chemical Weapons need to be deployed to protect us all from cheek pinching and lemonade stands.

Now reports from the protesters say that the Police were firing pepper spray indescriminately into the crowd. This is probably the case because Jeff Kappel, when asked if it were harmful said, "we probably wouldn't be using pepper spray if that was the case."

Jeff Kappel, meet me at camera three. What’s that? I’ve just got the one camera?
And you’re saying there’s nobody else here, it’s just me. And you’re saying I don’t actually have an earpeice. Okay.

Jeff Kappel, your job as spokesperson for the Seattle Police department means that you need to be able to talk with a well-informed authority. But I have to ask-- have you ever been pepper sprayed? Because I have. Sort of. I wasn’t directly hit, I was just pushed into a hanging cloud that had disbursed into the air after somebody 40 feet away from me had been sprayed. You know what this minor exposure felt like? My lungs were burning. My throat was burning. My eyes were burning. I could barely breathe. The people who were hit directly with pepperspray experienced a level of pain that I cannot imagine. They were writhing in pain on the ground, vomiting, barely able to draw a breath. Some elderly women I was with were suddenly unable to breathe and had to be taken away in an ambulance.

Those sprayed described the feeling of pepper spray on the skin as being akin to placing one’s hand on a hot stove, but being unable to pull it away for hours. And the effects don’t go away after just a few minutes. They don’t go away in a few hours. They don’t even go away in a day. The injuries sustained by the use of this chemical weapon last for days.

And you used this chemical weapon on a pregnant woman.
And somebody’s grandmother.

I want that sink into your conscience for a little while. Would you pepper spray your grandmother, Jeff?

So Jeff Kappel, do us all a favor, would you? Before you start to open your yap and spout some bullshit about how this chemical weapon probably isn’t harmful, I want you to ask one of your fellow officers to give you a faceful of pepper spray, to stab you in the gut with a night stick, lock you in a jail cell, and then deny you access to treatment for 24 hours.

Then you will have the knowledge and authority to tell us all exactly how harmless it really is.